Election Day 2008

I don’t really run the political blog anymore. I got sick of the fights. I got sick of politics.  But, now, as we hit election day, a whole new wave of obnoxious election coverage begins.  And, this year, the people following it are worse than ever.

So here’s the deal.  If you don’t care about politics and are reading this via the RSS feed, skip ahead to the next entry now.  If you’re reading this off the website, I give you this chance.  If you want to read more about my point of view in this election and who I’m voting for this year, click through to read the rest of this entry.

Look, I don’t think Obama is a bad guy.  He looks like the kind of guy you might like to sit down and have dinner with.  He seems smart enough.  He seems friendly enough.  Sure, he’s a lawyer, but everyone has to make a living somehow. . .

But I don’t think he’s the right choice.  I think he is to the left of where I’d like this country to be.  Call it “liberal” or “social,” I don’t care.  I don’t like it.  And while he and many of his supporters might say he’s more moderate and centrist, I don’t believe it.  I won’t fall for it. I’ve seen this happen again and again.  And picking Joe Biden for a running mate proves the direction his administration will go in.  (Notice how quiet he’s been? Biden has hid well in the last month.  Smart move, Obama camp!)

By the way, how’s this for “change:” Biden ran for president before and was run off the campaign trail on plagiarism charges — during the Reagan administration!

The sad fact of the matter is that McCain ran a lousy campaign, so bad that it got to the point in the end where it had to go negative to score any points. It didn’t need to.  It could have stuck to policy differences if the campaign had found a better way to express them earlier on. Heck, I don’t even think Sarah Palin is a bad choice for Vice President, but they needed to position her differently.  The relentless talking points and catchphrases and cliches didn’t help.  Yes, Obama has those, too, but they come out less frequently — and, of course, the full power of the liberal media wasn’t there to point it out.  They were too busy singing along with whatever “Yes We Can” song they had on their iPods.

And, in the end, we might be safer with Obama as president. We’ll never know for sure now, but I’m imagining the reaction in this country to a McCain victory would have been ugly on the streets.  I do believe we’d have riots in some cities if that had happened, with people so enthralled by the Obama campaign that they could only conclude that racism caused the victory.

The thing that actually scares me the most about Obama is the Cult of Personality that has propelled him to the office of the Presidency.  It doesn’t take a genius to have seen this coming since 2004.  I did, but I thought it would take another election cycle or three to get here.  The fanaticism and excessive zeal with which his supporters (yes, that includes the media) have fawned over him with are nauseating.  I do believe there are those who believe Obama is the second coming. They keep putting his picture on magazine covers with halos behind his head, after all.

But Obama’s campaign and I agree on one thing: It’s time for a change.  So I’m voting for Bob Barr for President.  He’s running on the Libertarian ticket this year.  My vote for President doesn’t count worth much in New Jersey.  NJ hasn’t voted for a Republican for President in 20 years, even though I live in a fairly Republican area.  (You can’t beat the populations in cities that vote overwhelmingly in the other direction.)  So voting for McCain does nothing in this state. So I’ll vote for the Libertarian.  I don’t agree with everything they stand for, but I’ll take a change.  And that would be an interesting change. If nothing else, I’ve done my small pointless thing to help further someone’s cause.

And Barr was the leading proponent of Clinton’s impeachment, riding hard on principle over political expediency.

So let me just recommend that you all vote.  Wait, no. Don’t.  Personally, I don’t want anyone and everyone to vote.  I only want people to vote who have a clue as to what they’re voting for, or who they’re voting for.  I want a knowledgeable electorate, not a bunch of sheep who’ve been marketed to, or who think they’re joining the hip crowd by voting a specific way.  Dare to dream.

But I’ll give you an idea of what you’ll be seeing in the next 24 hours, particularly since the media already has all of their stories and headlines written and are just waiting for the inevitable to happen.

A “mandate” will be declared.  It doesn’t matter what the scenario.  Whether Obama sweeps all fifty states, or whether he wins the electoral vote but loses the popular vote, he will declare that he’s been given a mandate by the voters.  This is standard operating procedure for the last decade or two.  A 48 – 46 or 52 – 48 vote can be considered a mandate by a politician. It’s ridiculous.

The media’s love affair with Obama will reach bold new levels of Obamagasm.  (I seriously expect Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann to be smoking cigarettes on air after Obama’s acceptance speech.) The Wednesday morning headlines will officially declare the Second Coming.  Expect lots of pictures of Obama with a halo around his head.  Expect quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. running side by side with Obama’s acceptance speech.

It might wait until December, but expect the New York Times to do another front page article about how the economy is recovering thanks to Obama’s plans, none of which have been put in front of the Congress. (This is the paper, after all, who declared the “Clinton recovery” for the economy a month after he was elected, long after that recession was ending.)

Then, in the days ahead as the Cabinet and transition team is named, expect all of the same old school hard core liberal Democrats to be named to posts, with perhaps one or two “moderates” as a conciliatory measure.  Nobody will point out how this goes against “Change Change Change.” I mean, jeez, Rohm Emmanuel’s name is popping up for Chief of Staff already.  Ack.

It will be business as usual in Washington, but many will be so new to following it (political bandwagon jumpers) that they might not realize it.

I don’t really have a strong conclusion to make here.  I just hope that a Super Majority does not happen with the House and Senate. That would lead to some serious damage being done to this country for years to come.  I’m a bit annoyed by those who only follow politics when it becomes a hip thing to do or, at the very least, only in a Presidential election year.  There’s so much that happens in the interim that ignoring it is shallow.  And I think the Obama thing is so much hype that we’ll see get chipped away at in the years ahead.

That’s all.  Happy Election Day to one and all.  I think I’ll be catching up on my DVR viewing tonight.

7 thoughts on “Election Day 2008

  1. “quotes from Martin Luthor King Jr.”

    You mean, like, “I have a dream…where all the Kryptonians turn green from kryptonite poisoning…where a man is not judged on his hair, or the lack of it…”

    Sorry, but that was just too fun a typo not to play with a bit. : -)

  2. Ha! That was good. And that’s what I get for opening my spleen too late at night without double checking everything. I’ve fixed the typo now.

    I think we can all agree — bad spelling is bad for America.

  3. Augie, great post. It motivated me to come here off google reader to actually post a comment.

    I actually agree almost 100% with everything you said, from the hype machine/cult of personality to a horrendously run campaign.

    I definitely don’t think Obama is the anti-christ OR the Christ – notice how most people either love or hate him to an overwhelming extreme?

    the only thing I might disagree with is the bit on Palin, but that’s it.

    Thanks for a GREAT post. :)

  4. You know what the most glaring problem with Palin is? (Amongst many, anyhow…)

    She projects a smirking condecension of conservatives as illiterate, uneducated, “Joe 6-Pack”, menial-wage-earning know-nothings that immediately turns off moderates/centrists who resent the implication of association with a bunch of beer-guzzling slack-jawed ne’er-do-wells, as well as many conservatives who see their party co-opted by hordes of neo-conservatives who eschew traditional conservative values (mostly fiscal and secularin nature) in favor of hype and hysteria ad populum.

    I’m Libertarian by principle but I’ll never join the party. They severely clog up my fax machine.

  5. Hello there Augie. If you can recognize me by my Twitter name of Mogloth, you know I supported and voted for Obama.

    Yes, I am only 31 years old, so my total experience is not that great. However, I have become sick of the tone of Washington these last 8 years. When I listen to Obama speak I can hear the positive tone and sound of hope.

    Whether or not anything actually changes in the nexts 4 years, I will be ecstatic by a more kinder gentle tone in Washington.

    Now, I will also say I believe the best thing that could happen to the Republican party is to get whitewashed this year. They have mostly achieved that it seems.

    With a complete defeat on their hands, maybe it will force the Republicans to rebrand their party. They need to get back to the beliefs and stances they used to have. Not what they have morphed into in the past 20 or so years.

    During the primary season, I was a huge suporter of Ron Paul. I loved his ideas. Fiscal conservatism, ending the wars etc.

    Do I anticipate waking up tomorrow with millions of dollars in my bank account? No. Do, I sense that my generation finally stood up and said, “Enough!”? Yes I do.

  6. Many of the points that you brought up were the same points that made me vote for Hilary Clinton during the primaries (and oh the sh*t I got from Obama supporters). The lack of experience, the cult of personality, the mephistifalean rise to power from “community leader” to presidential candidate.

    But as a party loyalist, I vote for my party. This is not in any way a mindless thing. Simply an acknowledgment on my part that the positions of my party are my own positions. The Democratic party’s platform conforms to my own political beliefs.

    (Caveats here and there, of course.)

    And no I don’t believe that an Obama presidency, a majority in the House and Senate -though not the supermajority that they hoped for-, would bring about a transformation of how the nation works or how politics are done. Indeed, with the money that the Obama campaign has brought to the party, you can pretty much kiss campaign reform goodbye for the next ten years or so. Now that the wind is blowing Democrats, you can bet there’s a lot of Republicans kicking themselves for not making McCain-Feingold stronger when they had the chance.

    And let’s not kid ourselves even more: the economy’s going to be in a repression for the forseeable future. Not just the US economy, the world’s economy. Homeless people here, starving people there. It’s pretty much a perfect storm of sh*ttiness. We might be reducing our presence in Iraq, whatever the hell that means, but we’re never, ever leaving Saudi Arabia. And the regimes in Syria and Egypt will never change their ways. Camp X-Ray isn’t coming down. Energy will be scarce, no matter what source we get it from. The environment is turning poisonous.

    And, oh yeah, Palestine just bomb Israel again. Right now.

    So why be happy? What’s going on? If the change we’re getting isn’t that much of a change, why the celebration?

    Because it is big, it is important. Americans have decided on a president that looks more like “them” than he does “us.” Race is important because we make it important. Symbolic, maybe. But people die for symbols every day. And it really, honestly does put paid to the Bush Doctrine. Granted, it was unlikely that Sen. McCain would have followed on the unilateralism and myopic tendencies of the Bush administration, ignoring so very much in favor of Iraq. Perhaps even of “preventive war”, though that one’s a bit unlikely. Internationism, cooperation, diplomacy–these things will be more likely under an Obama administration than they would have been for a McCain administration, if only because gosh-darnit the durn ferreners like Obama better. They do.

    (And of course the Democratic party platform will be the salvation of us all, praise goodness, etc. etc.)

    So here’s to Obama: the repository of all our hopes, dreams and fears. Not a Muslim. Not a terrorist. Probably not a communist. More centrist than I would like him to be. Much more cynical than his supporters think he is in all likelyhood. Most certainly not a panacea for all our ills, social and otherwise. But a change, nonetheless. For the better? For the worse? Only time will tell.

    Oh, yes. And as for the liberal media: as a loyal liberal, I say: thanks for the hard work. You made us all proud to be under your absolute control.

    PS: How to bring it back into comics? I was just re-reading Eagle: the Making of an Asian-American President by Kaiji Kawaguchi. Really weird parallels.

  7. I really appreciate reading your point of view, Augie. Thanks for sharing it. I’ve been a long time reader of your comic columns and love your American Idol recaps too.

    I’m thrilled about Obama’s election to be our nation’s President. It is so exciting for me. As white, middle class Americans I don’t think we can really grasp what it must mean for generations of African Americans to be witnessing this moment in history. Nonetheless, it is still profound and moving.

    I am the proud parent of a adopted 3 year old African American little girl. Watching Barack Obama give his acceptance speech while holding her in my arms moved me to tears. He does represent the place left of center where I want this country to be. I hope he has the courage and ability to move us there.

    We may have opposing political points of view, but I thank you for sharing yours. You’re a very entertaining writer, and I enjoy reading what you have to say. Thanks!

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